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Seeds planted for Port Edward community garden

Thomas Barnett presented the concept to council on Feb. 12
(Pixabay photo)

A Port Edward resident has visions of building a community hub for people with green thumbs.

Thomas Barnett, a local lawyer, gave a brief presentation at Port Edward council on Feb. 12 where he pitched the idea of a community garden to the mayor and council.

Barnett has lived in the community for approximately three years, says he loves it there and thinks a garden would be a good way to bring the community closer together and create a sustainable food option.

READ MORE: Planting party for North Coast community garden

“We don’t have a farmers market here, and a lot of people end up driving a long way for one,” he said in a later interview. “There’s no reason why we can’t do something like that here, especially if there’s a space where we can get things growing.”

During the council meeting, Barnett suggested multiple locations where either an open garden could be constructed in the ground or in elevated beds.

One location suggested was the plot of land open behind the new senior’s housing complex.

“My thought was that if you have a community garden right there, when those homes get filled up, it’ll give those residents something to do,” Barnett said.

Barnett also said that while an open garden with raised beds would be the easiest and fastest to setup, a greenhouse would be most ideal for growing a wide range of food throughout the year.

“Ideally in this climate, if you want extend your growing season, which you kinda need to do if you want to grow anything besides cauliflower and kale, then you’ll need a greenhouse,” Barnett said.

The area close to the old Port Edward School was suggested as a space that would be ideal for a greenhouse as concrete has already been laid down.

“If you put a community garden there and perhaps a community smokehouse, that will sort of amalgamate all the community space within the community, which may be of some benefit to the community,” Barnett said.

Mayor Bjorndal said he was excited by the prospect of building a sustainable community garden in the district and invited Barnett to come and discuss the particulars of construction in detail at a later date.

Plans for the space are still in their early stages. Barnett is working on putting together a working group of individuals interested in seeing the garden a reality. After that, he said the next step will be forming a society, developing a plan and looking for funding to build the space.

READ MORE: Community garden in Prince Rupert takes shape

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Matthew Allen | Reporter
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